History in the Media


NEWS

The papers of Sir Edward Monkton, advisor to Edward VIII, were released by the Bodleian Library, revealing new information on the circumstances surrounding the abdication in 1936.They cover the relationship between Britain and Germany in the 1930s, as well as more personal materials. For background information, see www.newsunlimited.co.uk/monarchy (March 1st)

British museums and galleries have produced a list of over 350 works with `gaps' in their provenance between 1933 and 1945, after an audit to identify pieces which might be subject to claims by Jewish families. The list will be published on the Internet, and other sites, such as the Art Loss Register www.artloss.com are also providing services to help Holocaust claimants. In a similar attempt to reunite former owners with lost works in Germany, the Stasi Commission in Berlin has begun a weekly Internet posting of items plundered by the secret police of the DDR. (March 1st & 8th)

The prestigious Directors Guild of America's award, presented to Steven Spielberg in March, has been renamed the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award, to distance itself from D.W. Griffith, director of The Birth of a Nation (1915), which showed the Ku Klux Klan in an heroic light. Griffith's name had been attached to the award since its inception in 1953. See the www.dga.org and www.filmsite.org/birt.html for a review of the film. (March 11th)

The Pope has apologised in a penitential liturgy delivered from St Peter's, for wrongs committed or condoned in the name of the Roman Catholic Church. Among the sins for which he asked divine forgiveness, the Pope cited those against Jews, women and other Christians through the Inquisition. His failure to cite the actions of the church and Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust drew criticism. (March 13th & 14th)

The exploits of an 11th-century monk, Eimer, who jumped off the tower at Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire in an attempt to fly, are to be repeated with a dummy standing in for the intrepid monk. Meanwhile, British skydiver Adrian Nicholas is to test a parachute based on designs of Leonardo da Vinci. See www.britassoc.org.uk (March 14th & 17th)

The discovery of Aboriginal relics in New South Wales, Australia, has halted the construction of a private golf course for businessman Kerry Packer on the site, while plans for a section of the new Chatswood-Parramatta railway have been revised to protect the built and environmental heritage of Parramatta Park, including a 19th-century Governor's house. (March 15th)

The 7th-century Lindisfarne Gospels are to be returned for permanent display in the northeast of England. Currently housed in the British Library, the manuscripts were produced by monks on Holy Island in Northumberland, and pressure for their return has grown since they were put on temporary display in Newcastle in 1996. (March 20th)

Shorts

The libel trial brought by revisionist historian David Irving against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books was electrified with the release of the memoirs of Adolf Eichmann by the Israeli government to support the defendants. …

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